When you stop and think about it, roasting a turkey of any size follows the same basic procedures—time is the biggest variant. And, when it comes to safe handling and preparation of a turkey or any poultry for that matter, there are no short cuts. You should take precautions to avoid cross-contamination of food and cooking utensils, and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
- Wash and dry. After removing a turkey from the packaging in which it was purchased, wash the bird thoroughly with warm water inside and out. Afterwards, dry the turkey thoroughly inside and out with paper towels. If using a cloth towel, do not use it again for any other purpose until it has been laundered. The turkey may be refrigerated after it has been washed.
- Avoid cross-contamination. Wash cutting boards, knives and any other equipment after it has come into contact with the raw turkey or its juices before using again for any other purpose. For example, a knife that has been used to cut raw poultry should not be used to cut vegetables or other ingredients until it has been thoroughly washed in hot soapy water.
- Be careful with stuffing. Stuff a turkey just before you are about to put it in the oven. Do not stuff a raw turkey and then refrigerate it or leave it sitting on the counter. After the turkey has finished roasting, remove all the stuffing from the turkey. Do not refrigerate leftover turkey with the stuffing still inside it.
To watch a video of this tutorial, click here.